Stokes’ Aster



Botanical Name:  Stokesia laevis

Common Name:  Stokes’ Aster

Description:  Stokes’ aster is a versatile and showy Florida native perennial that makes for an attractive and low-maintenance garden addition. This wildflower offers beauty with both its flowers and attractive, semi-evergreen to evergreen foliage. The plant features fluffy, cornflower-like, violet blue flowers, up to 4″ wide, each with notched rays surrounding a pincushion center of feathery disk florets. The flowers grow on long stems held well above the foliage. Bloom time is in spring and summer, but may bloom throughout the year, attracting a variety of bees, wasps, and butterflies. Quickly grows 1-2′ tall. Stokes’ aster is easy to care for once established. It performs best in sun to part sun locations with moist but well-drained, acidic soil. It likes having some protection from the hot afternoon sun. Is somewhat drought tolerant after becoming established, but does best with supplemental water during extreme drought. While this plant requires very little maintenance, you may need to divide mature clumps. You can also deadhead to encourage more flowering. Plants can occasionally be damaged by deer but are generally considered deer and rabbit resistant. Will reseed itself if spent flowerheads are left on the plant.

Stokes’ aster is native to only nine counties in Florida (but more common throughout the Southeast). Its natural habitat is in savannas, flatwoods, roadside depressions, and pitcherplant bog margins. Stokes’ aster works well in mixed wildflower and butterfly gardens.

This plant in 1-gallon containers is 5-15″ tall.

Plant Lore: Stokesia laevis is the only species in the Stokesia genus, making it a monotypic taxon. The genus and common name refer to the English botanist Jonathan Stokes (1755–1831). The specific epithet, laevis, means smooth.

Florida Hardiness Zones 8a – 9a

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